LOS ANGELES — In an effort to reassure its customers, Countrywide Financial Corp. ran ads in the Los Angeles Times yesterday saying that the business is safe and deposits are insured by the FDIC.

Last week there were reports of Countrywide clients going to branches seeking to withdraw deposits given recent publicized financial problems at the nation's largest mortgage lender.

Even as they tried to shore up confidence, a report surfaced saying that it has begun to lay off some employees to cut costs in order to cope with the ongoing credit crunch.

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